Peatland Promotion and Protection Centre in Chochołów
The Peatland Promotion and Protection Centre in Chochołów combines traditional architecture with modern interactive stands. The exhibition in the Chochołów Centre comprises a number of multimedia stands that showcase the functioning of peat bogs. The visit begins with a lesson with a map showing the location of the peat bogs on the Polish-Slovak border and the habitats of the most endangered plant and animal species, and learn about natural habitats under protection. Following this introduction, they discover what peat looks like and what it is as well as its various uses, followed by the history of peat bogs shown in an animation. The Centre also showcases how much water peat absorbs and its role in the environment. The Centre also offers two stands showcasing a cross-section of the peat bog profile. Information about plants typical for peat bogs is provided by an interactive herbalist wearing a folk costume, whose stories are accompanied by legends and tales from the region. At the Centre, visitors can also watch The Story of the Black Grouse documentary presenting the characteristics and habits of this unique bird species, showcasing the picturesque shots of fauna, flora and peat bog landscapes. Complementing the exhibit are two multimedia quiz stations. The first focuses on information about the peat bog complex, its protection and characteristics. The second tests visitors’ ability to identify samples visible under an interactive microscope. Both multimedia stations measure time and count scores, allowing the visitors to compare their knowledge to that of other museum-goers. A visit to the Peatland Promotion and Protection Centre in Chochołów takes approximately 45–60 minutes. The entire exhibition is presented in three languages – Polish, English and Slovak. A visit to the Centre is the perfect introduction before visiting the actual peat bogs to see the unique places and experience them in person. Numerous hiking and biking trails and educational paths lead the tourists through these bogs. In addition to beautiful sights, visitors can also take a ride in a restored century-old narrow-gauge train carriage in the Peat Production Plant or a tour of the peat bog with a professional guide.